Friday, February 08, 2008

Dispatch from the Other Side

It's 63 degrees, green everywhere, organic eats by the dozens and I'm feeling mighty fine. Yes, I'm in a little place some might call C Du country, aka Oakland, California.

After last year's fantastic playoff upset of the hard workin', Skiles-esque Mavs and the good fortune of one of my good friends moving out here, I decided it was necessary to see Golden State on their home turf. And what better time than a miserable Chicago winter?

The Oracle Arena, which my friend swore to me would be raucous, is located right next to the Coliseum, where the A's and Raiders play. Food options are pretty United Center-esque, with the usual nachos/plastic cheese, "pizza," and some other unedible shit. Although they did have garlic fries, which I didn't get to try.

The best thing about Oracle, though, is the utter lack of corporate "synergy" those of us used to Reinsdorf venues know well. We were on the top level and the only ads I could ascertain were some non-LED, tiny KIA ads parked in a distant corner.  In addition, in-game entertainment is "refreshingly corny" (my friend's words), mostly consisting of some Warriors promo guy going into the crowd and interviewing fans over the PA. For example, they do a thing called "Meet the Season Ticket Holder" where they show the ticket holder on the scoreboard and talk about his favorite things (the friend sez B Diddy's dunk is everyone's favorite Warriors playoff moment of all time). But the best part was the music. Or lack thereof. Rather than force AC/DC or Guns N Roses down our throats at every possible opportunity, they would frequently turn off the music when the ball went in play. This meant that when Monta Ellis (!!) laid down a sick dunk, the enormous roar you hear from the crowd is well, organic. They only cue up the music after the fans give the play their seal of approval.

Thoughts on the game that haven't been said (h/t/ to Matt and BenGo and HSCS)? The Warriors' defense was pretty pathetic in person (just leaving Noc wide open for jump shots) but it was so much fun to see them go on a run. Except for Tyrus, we don't know anyone that can dunk like them. Webber looked even more gimpy, IMO, than Joe Smith, which is saying something (not saying Joe didn't have a great game, just that the man can't move one of his knees).
I don't know if TNT showed T-Time and Boylan arguing in the 4th quarter during some Warriors foul-shooting but it was great to see that happen and have Boylan leave him in the game.

Overheard lines walking out of the stadium:
"I can't believe we lost to a below-500 team." At least we're not Minnesota.
"The Bulls are such a shitty team."
And some others like that. Alright, I'm seeing GSW-Sacramento on Saturday, too but cheers on an awesome game.

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